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Phil Mickelson sparks controversy by hitting still moving ball in US Open

Posted: 4:08 PM, Jun 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-16 23:07:36Z

It's his 48th birthday and he should know better, but Phil Mickelson ran after a still moving putt and hit the ball back towards the hole during his third round of the US Open Saturday.

It's a no-no for kids on a crazy golf course, let alone a five-time major champion and former world No. 2 at the US Open.

The rules of golf state: "A player must not make a stroke at his ball while it is moving."

Mickelson had a 10-foot putt for bogey on the 13th hole at Shinnecock Hills but the ball slid past and he watched it gather pace down a slope. He then jogged after it and tapped it back up towards the hole.

Mickelson then marked his stationary ball before taking two more putts for an eight, which was later corrected to a 10 after he was assessed a two-stroke penalty.

It dropped the veteran left-hander to 16 over for the tournament, 20 shots adrift of leader Dustin Johnson.

He began the day six over par but four bogeys in a row from the eighth had virtually put paid to any kind of comeback over the weekend. Mickelson finished with an 11-over 81 to end 17 over for the tournament as playing partner Andrew Johnston dropped five shots in his last five holes to end with an 82 for 18 over.

 

 

The colourful and at times controversial Californian has finished runner-up a record six times in the US Open, the last major he needs to complete the set of all four of golf's big titles.

Only five players in history have won the career grand slam -- Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

"It would mean an awful lot, I want to be the sixth," Mickelson said before the tournament began.

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